The White Sox have yet to make the reported long-term contract for top prospect Eloy Jimenez official, but they're making some other moves in the closing days of spring training.
The team released outfielder Brandon Guyer, brought in earlier in the offseason to provide some outfield depth in camp. The White Sox also signed veteran shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league deal.
Brandon Guyer has been released. White Sox now at 36 in camp— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) March 22, 2019
White Sox signed Alcides Escobar to a minor league deal. Not coming to big league camp— James Fegan (@JRFegan) March 22, 2019
Guyer was a notable name in White Sox camp after his two and a half seasons with the Cleveland Indians, though it was always going to be tough for him to crack an already-crowded outfield. He reached base at a good .357 clip during Cactus League play but batted just .217 with one extra-base hit in 11 spring games.
Escobar, meanwhile, was just recently cut by the Baltimore Orioles after spending the spring in their camp. He's well known to White Sox fans after his eight-year stint with the Kansas City Royals, during which he was the starting shortstop on their back-to-back AL pennant teams in 2014 and 2015. He made an All-Star appearance and won a Gold Glove in 2015, but he hasn't finished a season with an on-base percentage above .300 since 2014. Over the past four campaigns, the 32-year-old Escobar put up a .251/.284/.336 slash line with only 20 home runs and just 97 walks compared to 347 strikeouts.
Escobar won't be in big league camp and therefore not part of the team's Opening Day roster. He'll likely serve as infield depth at Triple-A Charlotte, perhaps only appearing on the South Side in case of an injury. Tim Anderson and Yolmer Sanchez figure to have the starting middle-infield positions locked up, and Jose Rondon looks likely to make the Opening Day roster as a backup infielder, something the versatile Leury Garcia could do, as well.
There are currently 36 players in big league camp, meaning 11 more cuts will be needed to get to the 25 for Opening Day next week in Kansas City. That number could grow to 12 should the White Sox finish the reported deal with Jimenez and put him into the Opening Day mix.